Thinking about living in Aurora, Ontario? You’re not alone. Aurora is considered York Region’s best place to live — and for good reason. In this post, we’ll take a look at all the perks of living in Aurora, including recreation, quality of life, and affordability.
How far is Aurora from Toronto?
Aurora Town Hall
Aurora lies within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). But how far is Aurora from Toronto?
The two cities are just under 50 kilometres apart. That’s about a 40-minute drive on the 404. It’s not uncommon for people living in Aurora to make that commute to work daily. If that’s a bit of a stretch for you, keep reading to learn about the many employment opportunities that exist in Aurora.
Also keep in mind that Aurora is close to several other great cities like Pickering, Brampton, and Whitby, all of which offer employment and travel opportunities of their own.
Living in Aurora: A Brief History
In 1793, Canada’s Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe called for Yonge Street to be extended all the way to Holland Landing, a small community near Aurora. That was the beginning of residential development in the area.
By 1801, a small community of 14 homes had sprung up. It wasn’t until 1863, however, that Aurora was officially incorporated as a village. It became a town in 1888 and has since become a central part of the Greater Toronto Area.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson grew up here in the 1960s and you’ll find plenty of historical relics detailing Canada’s rich history going back centuries.
Today, Aurora, Ontario has a population of roughly 53,000 people. While this makes it one of the smaller cities in the GTA, Aurora has a whole lot of character.
6 Reasons Why Living in Aurora is so Great
#1. Enjoy Not One But Two Fantastic Lakes
Lake Ontario lies south of Aurora while Lake Simcoe is to the north. While Lake Simcoe is not formally one of the Great Lakes, you’d never guess it based on the recreational activities and stunning scenery that surround it.
Around Lake Simcoe, you’ll enjoy several exciting trails, picnic spots, and conservation areas stretching all the way around to cities like Innisfil, Barrie, and Shanty Bay. The lake even houses Georgina Island, a Native reserve that you can visit to learn more about the history of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
#2. You’ll Find Lots of Quirky Local Shopping in Aurora, Ontario
One major perk of living in a relatively small city is that you have a much more interesting shopping experience than you’d find at big box stores in the city.
If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience, for example, head to La Jolie Cheese Shop, which is considered one of Ontario’s finest boutique cheese locations.
On historic Main Street, you’ll find a great collection of locally-sourced items ranging from decorations to specialty wall paint, spas, and clothes.
#3. The Cost of Living in Aurora, Ontario is Very Reasonable
According to Numbeo, Aurora has a substantially lower cost of living than Toronto. Renting a three-bedroom apartment, for example, will cost you an average of $1,700 compared to Toronto’s exorbitant $2,650.
Basic groceries like beef, meanwhile, are as much as 48% cheaper in Aurora.
Looking to buy a property?
To make a long story short, your money goes a lot further in Aurora than in other parts of the GTA.
#4. Wages Are Higher in Aurora, Ontario Too
Despite the cost of living in Aurora being much lower than elsewhere in the GTA, people typically earn more here. Numbeo lists the average post-tax monthly salary as $5,693.33 compared to just $3,945.59 in Toronto.
These two factors (low costs of living combined with higher income) mean you can expect a much greater quality of life in Aurora than in Toronto.
#5. There Are Several Large Companies in Aurora, Ontario
As land in Toronto becomes scarcer, many major companies have turned to other parts of Southern Ontario (including Vaughan) for new offices.
Companies in Aurora, Ontario include:
- Compass Food Sales Co. Ltd.
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Canada Post
- Bulk Barn Foods Limited
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Loblaw Companies Limited
In other words, if driving 40 minutes to Toronto for work is out of the question, you can rest assured in knowing you’ll likely have no problem finding work right here in Aurora.
#6. Aurora Has a Rich Culture
Developers in Aurora have done a fantastic job of highlighting the city’s rich history and geographical features.
Visit the Northeast Old Aurora Heritage Conservation District for a glimpse at the formative years of this municipality, complete with historic homes and trees.
This is just one of several historic districts in Aurora. Check out the Aurora Historical Society to learn about other landmarks, including the Hillary House.
As far as landscape goes, Aurora boasts 700 acres of open space, 45 parks, and five golf courses. All of these amenities take advantage of Southern Ontario’s jaw-dropping nature.
To describe Aurora, Ontario as a fantastic place to live would be an understatement. The city’s affordability, higher wages, beauty, and quirkiness have made it one of the most sought-after locations in the GTA.
If you’re interested in moving to Aurora, we invite you to check out our new homes for sale in the city. Our development is located near Highways 15, 34, and 404, offering easy access to other parts of the Greater Toronto Area.
Things to do in Aurora, Ontario
Aurora Town Park
Aurora Town Park is one of those aforementioned luscious green spaces. Stop by on Saturdays from April to October and enjoy the local farmer’s market.
Fairy Lake Park
While Fairy Lake Park’s address is formally in Newmarket, its trails extend well into the city of Aurora. The park offers 13.4 hectares for you to explore, including lots of marshland and waterways. While exploring, you’ll come across several great picnic areas as well.
Canadian Moments Mural
Aurora is very proud of the role it’s played in Canada’s history. Visit the Canadian Moments Mural for an artistic walk through this nation’s development into a globally-envied realm.
Aurora Cultural Centre
The Aurora Cultural Centre is a great free attraction offering exhibitions and an extensive gallery showcasing Aurora’s heritage. The centre also hosts several recreational workshops like ukelele lessons, wood carving, painting, and more.
Map of Aurora, Ontario
Learn More About Aurora, Ontario
Check out this video for some more fun tidbits of information about Aurora.